As I mentioned last week, I keep an ever-expanding list of memorable quotes or sayings that I read, see or hear that cause me to think and consider. They come at the oddest times and not always where you would expect. I am sharing these in the hopes that one (or some) of these quotes might resonate with you and cause you to think and consider at some level. The quote this week is one that challenges me on an almost daily basis.
"Your glory is too small a thing to live for.” (Andy Stanley)
This is one of those sayings that requires me to look at it a couple of times, but it is powerful. If what I live for is me only, I have set my sights too low. If what matters to me is what I accomplish, what I look like to others, how I am perceived, or how I feel about myself, then I have relegated myself to something small and unimportant. I think this quote is true and applies regardless of what you think of God or faith. A truly significant life has a purpose that drives it that is far greater than the smallness of itself and its comfort. This means having an outward focus. It means living intentionally with the good of someone or something greater in mind. As a follower of Jesus, I believe this finds ultimate fulfillment in living for the glory of God as expressed in living for others. If my life is lived to love people, then in the end God gets the glory and it is all worth it. If I live my life so I get the glory, it is a pretty sad existence.
I know this and I believe it with all my heart, yet in the day-to-day routine of life, I find myself often living as though what matters most is me. I worry about what people think, what makes me happy, what I am going to do next that will be fun or relaxing or simply what milestone I can achieve. It takes an intentional decision to think of what really matters and orient my activities, thoughts and dreams around it. This has driven my decisions, albeit imperfectly, for many years. Because when my life is over and the memory of me and all I have done is gone, there is only one whose glory remains. If God and his purposes is what I have lived for, then it will have value for eternity. That gives me hope. Whose glory do you live for? Yours? Or something (or someone) far greater?
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